Nov 27, 2019

Thomas Cook collapse hits profits at On the Beach

Online travel agent On the Beach said profits fell by more than a quarter in its last financial year as it struggled to contain the impact of British package holiday group Thomas Cook's collapse. On the Beach, which was booking about 15 per cent of its customers on to Thomas Cook flights each year, said on Wednesday that profit before tax for the year to September 30 plunged 26 per cent to £19.4m. The online travel group, which warned in September of a £7m one-off hit to revenues from Thomas Cook's failure, has not only had to pay out refunds to its customers who found themselves without a flight. The loss of Thomas Cook has also reduced the number of airline seats available in the market and pushed ticket prices higher, On the Beach chief financial officer Paul Meehan said. On the Beach has undertaken a "Massive operational programme to fix bookings", Mr Meehan said, though he also argued that Thomas Cook's failure gave On the Beach an "Unprecedented opportunity" to increase market share. Revenues for the year were up 35 per cent to £140.4m thanks to On the Beach's acquisition of Classic Collection, a luxury beach holiday brand that it bought for £20m in March, and to the expansion of its long-haul offering.

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